Catastrophic Injury Attorneys in Birmingham, AL
A serious or catastrophic injury can forever change the course of your life. If you or someone you love has suffered a catastrophic injury, you have likely not yet realized the full extent of the injury and the multitude of ways in which it will affect your life.
In many cases, serious injuries require years or decades of medical care. In some situations, patients need lifelong care. In the days or weeks following an accident, it is impossible to understand the full economic impact of this type of injury. This is why it is so important to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. If you don’t have an advocate fighting for you, you could be left without enough compensation to cover you or your loved one’s needs.
To discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney, call Mann & Potter, PC at 205-627-3186.
What Are Serious and Catastrophic Injuries?
A catastrophic injury is one that significantly changes your life and requires extensive medical care. Many serious injuries lead to long-term or permanent disability or disfigurement. They are considered catastrophic largely because of the significant medical intervention needed to keep an individual healthy and the enormous expenses associated with receiving that level of care, losing an individual’s income, and the fact that victims are often unable to meet their obligations to their families.
Accidents That Lead to Serious Injuries
Almost any type of accident that causes injury has the potential to cause catastrophic injuries. Accidents that commonly lead to these types of injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Medical malpractice
- Accidents involving faulty or improperly manufactured equipment
- Workplace accidents
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
There is not an exhaustive list of catastrophic injuries. What makes an injury catastrophic is not the type of injury it is, but the extent to which it impacts an individual’s life and health. Having said that, there are many types of injuries that make up the bulk of catastrophic injury cases. Examples include:
- Crush injuries. Crush injuries occur when significant pressure is put on a body part. As a result, muscles may rupture, bones may be crushed, or other body tissues may be permanently damaged.
- Burns and scars. Burns cause a significant amount of catastrophic injuries. When second or third-degree burns cover much of a person’s body, they cannot do skin grafts to heal the burned areas because they do not have enough healthy skin remaining. In addition, such severe burns can often put patients at serious risk of systemic infection. Burns that cover much of the body cause an extraordinary amount of pain, both physical and emotional. Furthermore, burns often leave victims permanently disfigured and disabled.
- Blunt force trauma. Blunt force trauma occurs when an object impacts part of the body without penetrating it. The brain is at greatest risk of serious injuries from blunt force trauma, since this type of trauma can cause brain swelling and irreparable damage. This type of damage often comes from car accidents or falls.
- Eye injuries. Eye injuries are extraordinarily hard to fix, and for a patient to have any chance at full recovery, they often need multiple painful, risky, and invasive surgeries. Even with medical intervention, many who suffer serious eye injuries permanently lose their vision.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries make up a substantial amount of catastrophic and serious injuries. While mild TBIs may leave patients with a concussion that heals on its own, moderate and severe TBIs can forever change an individual’s ability to live independently. If certain parts of the brain are damaged, a victim can lose the ability to move on their own, speak, control their emotions, or even breathe on their own. These injuries often lead to lifelong, around-the-clock care.
- Spinal cord damage. Damage to the spinal cord often causes long-term or lifelong damage to a victim’s mobility and pain levels. The higher an injury occurs on the spinal cord, the more a victim’s mobility is impacted. For example, a spinal cord injury at the bottom of the spine may impact the hips and legs to a minor degree, while an injury at the top of the spine could leave a victim with full-body paralysis.
- Amputations are extremely expensive to care for and follow up on, and they can permanently impact a person’s ability to work and care for themselves. They often need extensive physical and occupational therapy to learn how to perform basic skills while missing a limb. Even with extensive treatment and therapy, a victim may still need lifelong follow up care and assistance.
- Severe fractures. Broken bones aren’t often viewed as catastrophic, but they can have major consequences for some victims. If bones break in specific ways, they may never heal fully, leaving an individual with permanent, lingering pain and limited mobility.
- Birth injuries. If a baby is seriously injured during birth, they often require lifelong care. This is extremely expensive, so many birth injuries are considered catastrophic.
When you consider the full impact of a catastrophic injury, it seems impossible to put a dollar value on your suffering or the suffering of your loved one. While money can never undo an injury, return your mobility, or take away your pain, it is the only way that the legal system can compensate victims.
After you speak with your attorney about the details of your case, they will begin assessing your losses and coming up with estimates. The types of damages you may be entitled to are the same as those in other personal injury cases. However, the amounts are often much higher than they are in other personal injury cases, due to the far-reaching implications of a catastrophic injury. Types of compensation include:
- Past and future medical care – A full and fair settlement for a car accident will compensate you for all of your current medical bills and the medical expenses you are likely to incur in the future. This can be difficult to calculate, especially if your injury hasn’t yet reached the point of maximum medical improvement. This is one reason it’s so important to talk to an attorney about your options. Otherwise, you risk settling for an amount far below what you actually deserve.
- Lost wages – When you are left permanently unable to work, you and your family suffer. This is something that should be accounted for in a settlement. A fair settlement will compensate for all the days of work you miss due to their injury, including lost future earnings. This allows you to continue providing for your family and meeting their financial obligations.
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering – perhaps one of the greatest losses an accident victim can experience is a loss of quality of life. People with permanent injuries may never experience a full recovery. They may find themselves living with lingering pain for the rest of their lives. Fair settlements offer compensation for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life. Damages in this category tend to be much higher for victims with permanent injuries, as it’s likely they will never have the same level of independence that they had prior to the accident.
- Mental trauma
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Disfigurement and disability
We’re Ready to Fight for You—Call Us Today
After a catastrophic injury changes your or your loved one’s life, you should not have to worry about fighting with the insurance company about how much of a settlement you deserve. When an injury causes a victim to lose so much, it is essential that they get fairly compensated. That’s where we can help. At Mann & Potter, PC, we do everything we can to help our clients get what they rightfully deserve. Call us at 205-627-3186 or reach out to us online to discuss your case in greater detail.